Eugene Mc Daniels – 1971 – Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse
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A monster album that’s gone onto influence a generation – but which was barely recognized at the time! Singer Eugene McDaniels had scored big with some pop hits in the 60s under the name Gene McDaniels – but here, he steps out in a righteous batch of offbeat funk tunes – filled with politics, offbeat rhythms, and some very weird instrumentation. The whole thing’s awash in moody, jazzy changes – of the style that showed up often in samples by Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, and other artists who drew keen inspiration from this record.
This is an amazing piece of music. If you haven’t heard that, you haven’t heard one of the funkiest, dirtiest and orginal music. Recorded in the early 70s, it has a great note of social criticism.
The musicians recorded here are amazing, the backbone of the extreme funk in here comes from drum wizard Alphonse Mouzon, who was just 23 years old when doing this recording. It may be one the best funk drumming recordings of all time.
“Headless Heroes of the Apovalypse” is a masterpiece and it’s highly underrated.
You need to get it!
A1 The Lord Is Back 3:18
A2 Jagger the Dagger 6:00
A3 Lovin’ Man 4:45
A4 Headless Heroes 3:30
A5 Susan Jane 2:08
B1 Freedom Death Dance 4:16
B2 Supermarket Blues 4:07
B3 The Parasite (For Buffy) 9:36
Review By Soulmakossa
Eugene McDaniels’ ‘Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse’ is a tragically forgotten funk masterpiece. It has the grooves, it has the beats, it has the attitude, and above all, it has the mindblowing poetic brilliance of the erstwhile Kansas City-born ‘traditional’ R&B artist.
1971 was the year of the Black Album: Marvin Gaye released the seminal ‘What’s Goin’ On‘, Sly Stone responded with ‘Riot‘, Curtis Mayfield blew minds with his ‘Live‘ gig and Funkadelic were raising eyebrows with ‘Maggot Brain‘.
Somewhere, McDaniels’ two cents have been lost in the shuffle. And it’s a pity, for it’s every bit the classic as the aforementioned LPs.
This is hardcore political funk at its best and fiercest. A red moon atmosphere is set with the apocalyptic “The Lord Is Back“, which is followed by the hypnotic, strangely unnerving “Jagger the Dagger“.
Up next is what might at first listen (and glance) sound like a ‘Hippie Anthem’ for the new decade. But “Loving Man” drips of sarcasm and genuine bewilderment.
The title track is probably the greatest slice of righteous indignation set to greasy jazz-funk beats ever cut… and also the tune that, according to legend, made Agnew call the Atlantic Record Company office…
“Susan Jane” is a lovely, acoustic zany pseudo-ballad that is plain weird… and all the better for it.
“Freedom Death Dance” is sheer brilliance, musically as well as lyrically… it’s the cover art set to music.
The everyday hassles of an ordinary black man are discussed in the tragi-comical “Supermarket Blues“, where our hero is assaulted by old ladies, police brutes and store managers for being a shade darker than blue. Getting beaten up for returning a can of peas sure enough makes ya wanna sing the blues.
This fire and brimstone sermon on vinyl ends with a fiery ‘j’accuse’
towards America’s colonial past – an ode to the Native American that ends with a primal scream so eerie it is scary.
You need this album.